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TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE

us or far from us; for her feeling for Mr. Ramsay
changed as he sailed further and further across
the bay. It seemed to be elongated, stretched out;
he seemed to become more and more remote. He
and his children seemed to be swallowed up in
that blue, that distance; but here, on the lawn,
close at hand, Mr. Carmichael suddenly grunted.
She laughed. He clawed his book up from the
grass. He settled into his chair again puffing and
blowing like some sea monster. That was different
altogether, because he was so near. And now
again all was quiet. They must be out of bed by
this time, she supposed, looking at the house, but
nothing appeared there. But then, she remem-
bered, they had always made off directly a meal
was over, on business of their own. It was all in
keeping with this silence, this emptiness, and the
unreality of the early morning hour. It was a way
things had sometimes, she thought, lingering for a
moment and looking at the long glittering windows
and the plume of blue smoke: they became
unreal. So coming back from a journey, or after
an illness, before habits had spun themselves
across the surface, one felt that same unreality,
which was so startling; felt something emerge.
Life was most vivid then. One could be at one's
ease. Mercifully one need not say, very briskly,
1 crossing the lawn to greet old Mrs. Beckwith, who
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